WC Democrats Demand Congressman Thornberry Hold Town Hall

WICHITA FALLS - The Wichita County Democratic Party says this district's Congressman is doing his constituents a disservice by not holding town hall meetings in his district.

It was once a common practice during recesses, but Representative Mac Thornberry's office said they have found teleconference town halls much more effective and convenient for both sides.

Residents we spoke to have mixed feelings on the issue. Some that know Congressman Thornberry say he's easily accessible with or without town halls, while others say he should hold regular town hall meetings.

"A congressman's job is to come back and report to all of his constituents and he's failed to do that for some time," said Wichita County Democratic Party Chairman John Richie.

Richie said Congressman Thornberry is insulating himself from constituents by not holding town hall meetings and instead having closed sessions with select groups.

"People have questions and they should be getting answers to those," Richie said. "And it shouldn't just be one on one it should be on the record for folks to hear. And it's a little disheartening that our Congressman would come back to the district for a week and meet one time in Wichita Falls with business leaders."

And some Wichita Falls residents agree.

"Well I think he should hold meetings, so the people can address their concerns and needs and whatever else," said Delbert McDonald.

"I think they should still come," Diana Hernandez said. "I mean people are going to complain no matter what, that's what they get elected for. I think they should hold their town meetings instead of through via video or teleconference or whatever some of them are trying to do."

Others point out many of the town hall meetings had very low turnout and former WFISD School Board Member Reginald Blow, says  he's found you don't need a town hall meeting to access the 13th District Representative.

"If you write Mac, he'll write you back," said Blow. "If you call Mac, he'll call you back. His town hall meeting is continuous in the relationship he has with his district. At this point and time I think it will be unwise and unsafe with the temperament of the country to just have a fussing session."

We reached out to the Wichita County Republican Party for comment. Chairman Bruce Harris said in a statement: "As for the Democratic Party's disappointment that Mac [Thornberry] isn't having a town hall meeting maybe they should ask themselves why Mac has won his last 3 elections with 85-90% of the vote and why they have lost the trust of Texans and a majority of America."

However, earlier a spokesperson told us they are scheduling several tele-town halls this month in which constituents can join in by phone, and which can have up to 15,000 participating and asking questions.


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